Green recognition for Powerhouse, Sydney Opera House

The Powerhouse Museum is the first museum in Australia to sign the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment.

Lisa Havilah

As part of its current renewal the museum is embedding low carbon solutions into its infrastructure projects and operations across all Powerhouse sites, Powerhouse Climate Action and Sustainability Manager Carmel Reyes says.

“We are proud to join the World Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment and continuously demonstrate our leadership in climate action through technologies, innovation, consideration for material impacts and our future operations,’ Ms Reyes in a statement.

As part of its World Green Building Council’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment, the museum has pledged to: 

  • Reduce existing buildings’ energy consumption, eliminate emissions from energy and refrigerants, remove fossil fuel use drastically, and compensate for residual emissions
  • Verify by measuring and optimising building performance across all operations sites using Green Star.
  • Influence products and services used along its value chain for better outcomes for museum exhibitions and programs

CEO Lisa Havilah says by 2030 Powerhouse will be operating climate positive across all sites.

“Our leadership and pledge to positive climate action will establish and embed new sustainable  practices across the cultural sector,” Ms Havilah said.

The Powerhouse will track progress of the targets and objectives and share the results with supporting data, including energy consumption and carbon emission through annual reporting.

World Green Building Council Director of Advancing Net Zero, Victoria Kate Burrows, commended Powerhouse for taking up a leadership position in the cultural sector by showing its  commitment to decarbonising museum exhibition and public spaces.

“As an internationally leading museum in applied science, Powerhouse has an important role to play in inspiring change in the community,” she said in a statement.

The Powerhouse Climate Action Plan, which provides a pathway for the museum to achieve net zero carbon emissions in operations by 2025.

Six star rating for Opera House

Meanwhile, the Sydney Opera House has become one of the first UNESCO World Heritage-listed buildings to achieve the 6 Star Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), signifying global leadership in environmental and social sustainability operations.

The achievement was made possible through collaboration between Honeywell and the Opera House; Honeywell is a United Nations Global Goals partner and has provided innovative technology tailored to the unique needs of the iconic UNESCO World Heritage-listed building to help it achieve the 6-Star rating.

Some of the Opera House’s advanced green technology (image supplied)

Examples of the tech include:

  • Automating outside air control through real-time air quality data from the Bureau of Meteorology
  • Monitoring indoor air quality (IAQ) and relative humidity (rH)
  • Integrating more than 20 disparate subsystems to improve safety, energy and water usage
  • Implementing innovations such as electricity spot-price monitoring and extraction fan control in non-AC areas

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